Five first-rounders for Alabama?

ESPN NFL draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay both have five Alabama players going in the first round in their latest mock drafts, which would set an SEC record.

Alabama had four players taken in the first round of last year's draft. LSU also produced four first-round selections in the 2007 draft as did Auburn in the 2005 draft. But no SEC team has ever had five first-round selections in the same year.

If Alabama does indeed have five, that would be 12 first-round picks in the last four years for the Crimson Tide. From a national perspective, only Miami (in 2002) and USC (in 1968) have produced five first-round picks in the same draft.

Should LSU receiver Rueben Randle slip into the first round, there could be as many as eight players from those Alabama and LSU teams this season going in the first round, and that doesn't even count the guys who're returning to college that could be first-rounders next year.

The player who's really helped himself in workouts is Alabama linebacker Dont'a Hightower. Kiper and McShay both have Hightower projected to go 24th overall to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

McShay has Alabama running back Trent Richardson dropping some in the first round. Richardson, who recently had minor knee surgery, is projected by McShay to go No. 11 overall to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Kiper predicts 11 SEC players will be picked in the first round, which would tie an SEC record, while McShay has 10 SEC players going in the first round.

Another player who's apparently helped himself with an impressive showing at the NFL combine is South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who gave up his senior season to enter the draft. Kiper has Gilmore going No. 23 overall to the Detroit Lions.